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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Out with the Old & In with the New & Giving Credit where Credit is Due

This year has been pretty good, even with some challenges we've been blessed with both great experiences and great & supportive people in our lives. I absolutely adore everyone in our little lung family, they make me smile every day. Their strength and courage inspire me & I am truly blessed to have them. A few have seen great heartache this year and my heart aches along side them and I hold them in my prayers.

As we wave good bye to 2013 & say Hello to 2014, I just want to take a moment.....

Still working on my word for 2014 do you have a word that you plan to incorporate into your life?!

Giving credit where it's due..... Labels, assumptions, stereo types.....

A little lesson about judging a book by its cover. I want to tell you a story about this guy.

So, some of you who have known us for awhile now or who have had the pleasure of meeting my husband Jerry in person, will likely say he's nothing like he appears. This big burly Mohawk guy is a big softy with a super sense of humor. It's kind of like raising 4 kids sometimes.

He's been rocking this Mohawk gig for about 4-5 yrs, after the kids asked him to shave a 'hawk into his usual, bald is beautiful look.
Sooooo, just about a month ago I said " maybe it's time to change it up with the hair?"
His reply.... " don't you know why I do my hair like this?"

"Yes, " I said " 'cause the girls asked you to, you're kind of a freak & you love the attention."
( I know, total supportive wife right?!)
"No," he says ....
" I do my hair like this for 2 reasons"

" First, so Courtney knows it doesn't matter if you're different & people stare at you. Just smile back at them. "

" And second.... So people will look at me & cringe, instead of starring at her & her oxygen" ( our daughter & son both have a very very rare form of chILD..children's interstitial lung disease & require 24/7 oxygen supplementation ) Our journey has not been an easy one but the blessings out weight the struggles a hundred fold.

.....well, I was nearly balling my eyes out. He'd NEVER told me that.

He doesn't get near enough credit for all he does for his kids and me. And although he would say he's a freak and people can stare and judge all they want, he always says " be a duck, just let it roll off your back" , he is a true example of .... Don't judge a book by its cover, I think many in and out of our circle have made assumptions about him based on that freaky head of hair, and if they have.... They are the ones missing out.
I've always known it...but ...YEP, HE's A KEEPER ALL RIGHT !!

Happy 2014 to you and yours and may it bring, love, joy, good health and peace to your body and mind.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Honouring Our Troops

Today is November 11th, here in Canada it is Remembrance Day. A day to reflect and acknowledge all the generations of men and woman who have sacrificed so much... If you get a chance to thank a veteran both today & every day , please do so, they deserve our respect & gratitude.

This weekend our whole family gathered around the dining room table to craft & give thanks to those currently serving our country overseas. There are so many who will not be home with their families this Christmas in the name of freedom & the protection of those in need. Canada Post will send those Christmas greetings to our troops for free. All that is required is a small amount of our time to let those brave men & women know they are in our hearts & prayers. Their families here deserve our thanks as well for their sacrifices.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Take a Deep Breath

*Today I Celebrate*

It is the 12th Anniversary of the day I held my breath & sobbed in my husband's arms as they wheeled, my sedated, 15 month old daughter away for open heart surgery.

It's a feeling of helplessness that far too many parents of children with Congenital Heart Defects have had to feel. That moment when you hand over your sweet & precious child to a surgeon who you just pray, with all your might, will not only fix you child but bring them back to you alive. Some people might think its so common place , what's the big deal. Picture if you will, a staff of medical surgeons stopping your child's heart & hooking them up to a machine to keep them alive while they repair your child's tiny heart.

And once those doors close the tears seem to be unending. The waiting game now begins. It doesn't get easier the more surgeries your child has, the waiting, pacing & worrying along with many many prayers is always the same.

I feel blessed everyday that my beautiful daughter's defect was one they could fix. It is considered by specialist to be a good fix. She had a double ASD...atrial septal defect....a hole in the upper chambers of the heart, along with a leaky mitral valve. It was very large, the patch that covered them both was the size of a Canadian Toonie Coin.... Now picture in your mind the size of a toddler's heart.

But there are many other children who's defects are more complex & require multiple surgeries, while still others may require transplants & possibly face death.

Her surgery just so happened to coincide with International CHD Awareness week February 7th - 14th. She went in on the Monday & my little warrior was able to come home on Valentines Day....how fitting!! I feel tremendously blessed that her surgeon also happen to be considered in the top 5 paediatric cardiac surgeons in North America & he is right here at our local children's hospital ( Stollery Children's Hospital )

CHD... Congenital Heart Defects effect more children then all childhood cancers combine. Chances are someone you know could be effected..... Please get informed on these diseases & send love & prayers to those who have to hold their breath as they hand over their children everyday.
Become Aware & And never take a minute for granted.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Priorities & Getting Organized

Just finished up a fresh batch of homemade salsa for our family taco night & Pink Panther marathon. ( recipe to follow in a later post.... But I can tell you it's THE BOMB!!)

Keeping with my OLW(s) ( one-little-word ) , I've been thinking about how we can focus on REALLY enjoying the moments together ( as a family & as a couple ). I think we spend so much time rushing everyday & sometimes our priorities aren't always were they should be. But I also want to be mindful of being prepared. And by that I mean.... Often when we decide to do something as a family or as a couple we don't always have the finances for it.

Well, I decide we need a better plan! It's not too hard to find lots of cool ideas out there to help you set up your " family fun " jar or a " date nite " planner !

Here's our Family Fun Jar ! ( yes the jar is a rinsed out dog treat jar... It's the perfect size & keeps it out of the landfill :) We each wrote down ideas of FUN , rolled 'em up & tossed them in. I used my xyron sticker maker to add a label to the outside of the jar. The plan will be that on Sunday nights we will draw out one slip of paper & we have the whole week to look forward to the activity the following weekend.

This week we went out for a Family Breakfast at Denny's ...... We love our Bacon !! :)

Another part of this will be a preplanned prepaid couple's date night planner. Honestly, like many families today, there seems to be not enough couple time. I'm determined more then ever to make " time for us " !! It really is important not only for us but for our kids to see it too. More on our date night planner to come ..... Eek , I'm excited to get this going !

I have a confession...... I'm a couponer...... Some might call me an extreme couponer, although... I've been a bit out of the loop lately, so I need to get back on track. But I can say I've easily saved thousands of dollars with not as much effort as you'd think. One of the best sites for information on couponing in Canada that I've come across is Extreme Couponing Mom

At the beginning of January she posted about her 52 Week Money Challenge . It's this brilliant idea on how to start saving money. You can work forwards or backwards but either way at the end of it you've saved quite a substantial amount. You could use this money in December for Christmas shopping, maybe a special trip or roll it over into 2014 for something bigger like a down payment or home improvements. It's an awesome idea that I'm going to use this year. I think I will go backwards, putting the larger amount in now working down to smaller " deposits ". I'm going to adapt it a bit too, for my kids to learn to start saving. WIN WIN :)
Give it a try too if you want I'd love to here how it goes!

I'd like to make it a linky party...lolol...(( sheepish grin...but I have to go figure out how to do that ! ;)


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Time Flies When You're Having Fun!?!?

It's been a very long time since I last blogged, I'm not even sure I know how to do it anymore. There has been lots of changes to this blogger world! lol but here we go.....

The bulk of this blog has, in the past, been simply a showcase of the work I've done painting furniture and accessories.  Although I've not been on here blogging I have been using what little free time I do have,  being inspired by all the creativeness out there in blogland, pintrest-land and here locally. 

I've thought a lot about the direction I want to take in my life, my health, my relationships, my faith, my ART, my business & this blog. I am pretty excited about it! Of course EVERYONE gets excited everytime the calandar turns over a new year.  But I think that is part of the excitment for me. The chance to start fresh & also continue the positive momentum of the previous year.

Now don't get me wrong, the last few years have been an incredible challenge but .....

With Every Storm, A Beautiful Rainbow Appears


So, on that note I want to start out my first post of 2013 writing about my inspiration from One Little Word ( it's an Ali Edwards project that you can check out here )

The idea being you ponder about words. Deciding on a word for the year that will help guide you and motivate you to live the life you dream of & the life the Lord has planned for you. It often can mean something different to everyone. And how you choose to let that word inspire you throughout the year is different too.

Last year my word was "LESS"
Less -worry
Less- clutter
Less- time spent on unimportant things
~~ I think you get where it was going! Like all things & people , I'm a a work in progress. But when you have LESS of these things, you open yourself up to receive MORE of what's important.

This year I couldn't decide on just one word! This year I need 2 little words ! SAVOUR & MINDFUL

SavourI want to savor the precious moments I have with family and friends. I have really been struck this year by how much is missed because we are always rushing to the “next thing.” The next thing is no better than the thing at hand but in the rushing and seeking, the present is lost. The moments and opportunities with those I cherish are so precious and are definitely worth savouring!

MINDFUL... From the book titled “10 Mindful Minutes” by Goldie Hawn, I’ve chosen the word Mindful. Mindful of my attitude, mindful of my blessings, mindful of letting anger control my words, mindful of my faith, mindful of my reactions to things I can’t control.

I have also chosen a colour this year ! That is always a tough one for me because I am literally in love with every colour !! But for 2013 my colour is TURQUOISE !! What a glorious colour right ?!?! I've been totally digging it for sometime now. I laugh at myself actually, because 20 yrs ago when I started out in our first home, TEAL was the rage & I was all over it! My grandma used to say we all go in cycles & what you like now will be different then what you will like in 7-10 yrs from now, but it will all come back around. And clearly it has !! Just with a slightly different hue :)

So, with these 3 ideas in mind, along with my random blathering & my addiction to Pintrest.... This blog will see me posting about my journey of 2013. ( I hoping to make my way through my Pintrest Boards and blog about the results along the way ) I'm not sure if anyone will read any of this but I'm really doing it for me, but if you've made your way here...... Thanks so much !